Doing Business


Diligent, highly educated and multilingual, the Maltese workforce is the country’s most valuable asset. Most Maltese speak at least three languages, Maltese, English and Italian, and some have French and German as well under their belt. Some 60 per cent of students (18-24 year-olds) continue their education to third level, with some 85 or more institutions, including the University of Malta and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), to choose from. 


The Employment & Industrial Relations Act governs the conditions of employment, termination of contracts and the organisation of workers and employers. Employment may be for a fixed or indefinite term, and on a full-time or part-time basis. The length of the probation period is normally six months. The standard working week is 40 hours. Employees in full-time employment are entitled to 24 days of vacation per year. Maternity leave for female employees in full-time employment is 18 weeks. The law also provides for up to three months’ unpaid parental leave in the case of birth, adoption or legal custody of a minor.

The Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) is responsible for providing a public employment service and managing state-financed vocational training schemes, as well as for processing work permits for non-EU nationals. The island’s laws on immigration are in line with the European Union’s visa obligations for foreign nationals. While EU and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens are free to work and reside in Malta, non-EU nationals must apply for and obtain an Employment Permit, with the granting of the licence subject to a labour market test. 

However, from August 2015 onwards, Malta has introcuded a simplified procedure for employers when hiring non-EU nationals. The following roles can now be offered to foreign workers without the employer having to advertise the job locally and prove that they were unable to find a suitable EU employee: personal care workers, chemists, doctors, nurses, veterinarians, architects, civil engineers, engineers (electronics), geologists, geophysicists, engineers in aviation maintenance, accountants, auditors, university and higher education teachers/lecturers, computer network professionals, computer programmers, IT consultant, engineers (computer hardware & software) and system analysts. 

In order to attract skilled workers in other areas of the Maltese economy, the ETC also exempted employers from the advertising requirement for:

  • Posts of Managing Directors, CEOs and General Managers;
  • Posts for which the salary offered is of €80,000 per annum or higher;
  • Sportspersons and coaches, entertainers, musicians and crew on film productions;
  • ?pplications submitted by Public Entities in conformity with national regulations;
  • Students at ITS and other Higher Education institutions;
  • Self-employed persons/shareholders who have invested at least €500,000 through cash/stock injection within Maltese territory.



Malta ranks very favourably as a value-for-money location in which to do business. Salaries are 20 to 30 per cent lower than those in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. When social security costs and other employment taxes are factored in, total labour costs are still competitive when compared to the newer EU member states and significantly lower than those in other established members of the European Union.  

Average Salaries


Salary range €







Financial Controller


Part Qualified Accountant


Newly Warranted Accountant


Branch Manager


Treasury Senior Manager


Fund Accountant


Fund Clerk


Trust Manager


Compliance Manager


Compliance Officer


Technical Architect


Business Intelligence Specialist


Software Development Team Lead


Software Developer (I)*


Software Tester (I)*


Source: Castille Resources 2015


Two major trade unions, the General Workers Union (GWU) and the Malta Workers’ Union (UHM), dominate the labour landscape, alongside a number of smaller sector-specific unions. Collective bargaining is common, and agreements reached between employers and unions are binding in law. Labour disputes are usually resolved quickly; strikes and stoppages are rare occurrences. 



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